Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

The danger of a witch hunt...

... is that, typically, the people you wind up burning aren't witches.

Interesting Op-Ed in the NY Times yesterday, from one of the people who received those infamous AIG bonuses. He argues that he had nothing much to do with the mess, and is quitting AIG because it's simply not worth the tsurrus. (And he manages to claim a reasonable moral high ground by giving the bonus money to charity insofar as he can, on top of having been working essentially without pay.)

I don't see any obvious reason not to take him at his word here. The bonus controversy has been painting with a pretty wide brush, tarring the people who *were* working hard and honestly for the company (and who probably deserve their bonuses) along with those who caused the CDS disaster. Far too much of the blame has fallen on the people who are involved now, trying to clean things up, rather than those who actually acted irresponsibly. Granted, it's hard to separate who did what when the details are hidden by the torches and pitchforks surrounding you.

I've found the whole mess pretty repulsive, and I'm at least as angry with the public, the government, and *especially* the media as I am with AIG. Yes, there were a few bad apples who managed to game the system, and who deserve to be strung up by their thumbs. But the fever pitch went past productive and deserved a long time ago. The court of public opinion never has much respect for the principle of "innocent until proven guilty", and is always fond of over-simplification and blaming groups instead of individuals, but it's outdone itself this time...
Tags: politics

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